I respect your resistance, not your violence

AJAZ UL HAQUE

Pardon my impudence.
Your recent statement that `Kashmiri youth do not have any option but to pick up gun’ is – to say the mildest – atrocious. Whatever the context, the situation, the background, the message means disaster. There are two parts to your statement. India’s role in pushing Kashmir to violence is one, but endorsing violence as a path is the other. I accept the first and reject the second. Such statement in early nineties would come out of excitement as the consequences were unknown and unimaginable. But now the whole scene has unfurled before us and there is no corner unexplored in this dark continent of violence and bloodshed. Inciting youth to take a path which is unilaterally destructive and assuredly suicidal is the `wisdom’ that defeats me. Geelani Sahab, I hold you in high esteem for your integrity as a leader whose soul – even your opponents believe – is non-negotiable. But let the truth be told, if that integrity demands blood as price, we will not pay that. Presume someone’s child gets inspired by your statement as a leader and does the same what you ask him to do and meets the same fate as martyrs have met. In whose account shall we put that life? A young mind is like a mould of clay, liable to the slightest impression – good or bad. It doesn’t bother consequences, that is why children are most fearless but their fearlessness originates from ignorance. They don’t know what courage means, that’s why they are courageous. They run away with anything they stumble on, even if it means embracing fire. So we beg you, don’t provoke those who take provocation as inspiration. I don’t dispute your political philosophy, but I have serious problems with your ambivalent stand on violence.
Presume that gun really is the one and the only option left. Next and the immediate question. Who will take it. You? Me? Or someone in the neighbour’s house. It’s too ordinary to qualify as a philosophical question as it comes from the street. Vendors ask it. Grocers ask it. Illiterate bystanders, cart-pullers, rag-pickers, dust-sweepers ask it. I side with them against many so called `intellectuals’, `thinkers’ and `revolutionaries’ who are alarmed by the insects outside, but miss the monster in the room. I insist, where shall we get the recruits from? The factory is running out of fuel. Where shall we get more from? We have fed a lot of human material to this canon of fire. We are exhausted now.
Geelani Sahab, I prefer that cowardice that saves to that courage that destroys. Call me ordinary, but I believe in that cheap old slogan that I would read as a graffiti on the mud wall of the mohalla I am from. `Live and let live’, not kill and get killed. No religion, no ideology can change it for me. That sums up my creed.
Source : www.greaterkashmir.com

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